Press "Enter" to skip to content

Valley People (Nov. 23, 2016)

AT EASE, ANDERSON VALLEY. The McGhan matter has been amicably resolved. The wildly popular young doctor at the Anderson Valley Health Center was worried that the Center had reneged on one aspect of his contract. When word got out that McGhan was threatening to leave if he didn’t get satisfaction, FaceBook lit up in alarm. But by Monday morning the perceived contract prob had been soothed with the tried and true healing balm, cash-money. Everything is back to normal, if things in the Anderson Valley can ever be said to be entirely normal.

THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE, typical of many on local FaceBook pages, appeared last week:

“Terrible news. We are on the brink of losing an amazing person. Our friend Dr. Logan’s term as our beloved new physician is in jeopardy. After two years of dedicated and amazing service to our community, it is my understanding that the BOD has decided not to honor their promises to pay their half of the loan awarded to him by the state of California, instead offering him an embarrassing amount… Far less than the $5000 they paid for a mariachi band three weeks ago for their anniversary party… After everything he has already been through to stay and work with our community, giving his personal cell number, available 24/7 as an ear or friend we have got to recognize him and show our support. He is irreplaceable. We already almost lost him once! WE HAVE UNTIL FRIDAY! This is when the final decision will be made. I wish I had more information but at this time that is all I know. He has gone above and beyond his duty to serve this community and to fulfill his responsibilities as our family physician. ; Please contact the Board of Directors, write a letter, make a phone call and let’s see if there is anything we can do to show our support before it is too late. The link to their profiles is below: ; My own personal feeling: It is so difficult to rent and live in the valley without the support of the community. And if we can't support him then what will happen when we try to bring another Dr. into the valley? We depend on the clinic and all the amazing people who work there, whose children go to school with our children. Who show up to birthday parties and community events. These are the people that recognize us and greet us with smiles.”

THE HEALTH CENTER BOARD RESPONDS: "The AVHC Board, with the generous support of community members, has established a fund to be used for loan repayment matching grants on behalf of our staff. A pledge has been made to the state in support of a matching grant for student loan repayment to Dr. McGhan. We expect Dr. McGhan to return to work the week of November 28th. The Board of the AVHC deeply appreciates the efforts of all of the employees of the Health Center in working together to continuously improve the quality of care that we provide for our patients.  We will continue to do all that we can to support these efforts and to ensure the long-term viability and growth of the Anderson Valley Health Center organization. — Ric Bonner AVHC Board Chair"

STAND DOWN, McGhan supporters, among whom I am as fervent as any. He’s not going anywhere.

CHLOE GUAZZONE-RUGEBREGT gets high marks for her handling of last week’s McGhan crisis, and it’s got to be said that McGhan himself could have handled it better, a lot better.

WE WERE WONDERING just how far the Navarro River has to back up before Fish and Game breaches the sandbar at the mouth when, Saturday night about 8:30 the Navarro broke free. Probably went earlier but at about 8:30 the CHP cleared 128 for travel. Had been closed at the mouth for a week. The sandbar, as of late Saturday afternoon, had remained impregnable. It's never been thicker or higher, at least in my memory, which also includes a memory of R.D. Beacon and friends breaching it when he owned Navarro-By-The-Sea.

QUITE A NUMBER of houses are concealed by trees on the south side of what had become Lake Navarro, among them the home of marijuana crusader, Pebbles Trippett. (She lives about a mile-and-a-half in.) It's not unusual for the South Bank community to get around in boats when the river floods, and some evacuate altogether. But that kind of flooding usually occurs when the River rises from heavy storm run-off that simply overwhelms the river's ability to disgorge it fast enough out to sea. The road will be closed for a couple of days while the waters recede and life goes on as before.

WE'VE NEVER SEEN the Navarro back up so far and for so many days as it has this year. Pebs has told us stories of the water rising to the top rung of her stairway entry in big rain years. "I'd just swim out," she said, "if I have to." I suppose someone would have to fly to Hawaii to retrieve her when she washed up on Waikiki.

AN ATTORNEY GENERAL with a sense of humor can't be all bad. Remember when Jeff Sessions joked to the effect, "I thought the Klan was all right until I found out they smoked marijuana."

JOHN WOLFE was in Ten Mile Court Wednesday for sentencing on his vicious one punch assault on Navarro grandmother, Ann Knight. Judge Brennan, noting the Probation recommendation that Wolfe should sit in the County Jail mulling over his shocking villainy for 150 days, decided Wolfe would do thirty days more than that — 180 days for a felony that counts as Strike One for Wolfe. If he does something like this again it's Strike Two and all penalties double.

MRS. KNIGHT, struck full-face and rendered unconscious by Wolfe, has spent more time recovering from the terrible injuries she suffered than Wolfe will spend in jail. 180 days means 90 days less time for good behavior. If Wolfe serves more than three months, we'd be surprised.

THE LESSON HERE is that in Mendocino County you can hit a woman in the face with enough force to kill her and do less time than lots of non-violent mopes get for stealing stuff.

WOLFE'S courtroom tears, according to witnesses, seemed more for himself than his victim. Indeed, the persons present for Wolfe seemed to think Wolfe was the victim.

VALERIE HANELT has quietly made a very large contribution to the history of the Anderson Valley and, by extension, the history of Mendocino County. Besides chairing the Community Services District Board, Ms. Hanelt, who lives in suburban Yorkville, has undertaken a huge multi-year project to catalog all of the Anderson Valley's cemeteries and the people buried in them. Ms. Hanelt has compiled names, maiden names, nicknames, birth and death dates, cemetery name, whether there is a marker, military service, and extensive notes on some 1600 burial plots in Anderson Valley. And she's not finished. The basic database is being posted on line through the national data base, website and an extended version with notes is being posted on

But not all of the records are on-line at that site yet. In the near future Ms. Hanelt plans to do a series of articles about her project, the multiple sources she has drawn from, and the fascinating history surrounding the Valley’s graveyards and the people and families represented there.

LAST WEDNESDAY night the Anderson Valley Community Services District achieved a significant local milestone — one which has been addressed off and on for decades before without getting very far — by completing and signing off on arrangements with the State Water Resources Control Board and the Sonoma County-based engineering firm of Brelje & Race to conduct $1 million worth of engineering and planning for both a municipal sewer system and a municipal water system for the Boonville area. The engineering and planning work is expected to take about two years with a number of interim reports and public hearings along the way. Although details remain to be determined, the sewer system service area could run from the south end of Boonville near the intersection with Highway 253 down Highway 128 to the Anderson Creek Bridge, plus a number of residents on the various sidestreets along the way. The water system could cover a larger area extending from the Highway 253 intersection all the way to the high school and airport states (which has historical water problems with its own small water system). The specifics of the coverage and the service areas will be spelled out in the alternatives which the engineers develop and prepare cost estimates for. As Board Chair and project spearhead Valerie Hanelt said after the Board voted to sign the contracts and grant agreements, “I don't think the State would be spending $1 million on this kind of planning if they didn't intend to fund the construction."

IF THINGS GO AS EXPECTED, the final engineered plans and specifications and environmental and economic documents will be presented to the property owners in the proposed service area(s) sometime in 2018 for an up or down vote. Presumably, since Boonville is considered to be low on the average household income scale, the state would subsidize the construction under Proposition 1 water bond funds to keep the monthly cost to participating households below 2% of their monthly income.


Gas pump #3 at the Redwood Drive-in in Boonville:


WILMA WITHERELL WRITES: “All Monday morning I tried to get ahold of the Anderson Valley Health Clinic to make an appointment for later that day. I waited on the phone for 15 minutes for somebody to answer and nobody ever did. Then I called the non-emergency number for the Anderson Valley Ambulance. When I finally got through to them around 11 o'clock I was told they were in a meeting and they were not taking calls until 11:30. I called at 11:30 and still I was told the same thing. Absolutely unacceptable. They should put a message on there that they are not taking calls instead of causing all the frustration of making it so difficult to get through to them. It's absolutely unacceptable.”

YES, WILMA, it is unacceptable. Health Center staffers should hold their meetings before or after Center hours so as not to inconvenience the Anderson Valley public.

ON THE OFF CHANCE you’re wondering, we published a day early this week to make way for Gluttony Fest. The mighty ava hit the newsstands and mailboxes on Tuesday, not the usual Wednesday.

“MENDOCINO COUNTY Public Broadcasting is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeffrey Parker, a veteran newsman, media pioneer, publisher and social entrepreneur, as Interim Executive Director and General Manager of KZYX radio. Parker will take up the post on December 1, succeeding Diane Hering. A native of Santa Rosa with lifelong family ties to Mendocino County, Parker served two decades as a news agency reporter in New York, Washington, Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei before co-founding an independent publishing company and dedicating many years to fostering sustainable, community-focused healthcare services in China and India. Parker resided mainly in China from 1990 until early 2016, when he returned to his roots with a desire to find new channels of service…” (KZYX press release)

WE WISH the guy well, but we wonder how a person with real outside world credentials like his, a conventional person like Parker apparently is, will fit with the hippie slugs perennially dominant at the sloppy Philo operation.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *